In the Fall of 2012, Canadian farmers created a development fund to explore the feasibility of building a farmer-owned nitrogen fertilizer plant in Western Canada.
They were successful in raising close to nine million dollars from over 2,700 farmers in seed capital to begin the aggressive undertaking of bringing ProjectN to reality.
Although non-disclosure agreements with key industry players prevented ProjectN from sharing details outside the Project Management Team, the following is a synopsis of major milestones:
2013: An extensive Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) was developed by Stantec Engineering to identify that ProjectN would become a profitable entity.
2014 – 2017: Negotiations continued with major financial institutions, technology providers, Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies and potential strategic investors. Additional work was undertaken on the site plan as well as a review of the project to determine if there were alternatives to the original BFS. A project cost was established providing a financial framework to validate the projects viability. MOUs were executed with two potential strategic partners. There was consensus with the partners that it is necessary to advance Genesis to provide strategic partners and banks confidence that distribution can handle the off take of ProjectN. We turned all our attention to building Genesis to alleviate the off take concerns.
The economics of the ProjectN have not changed since inception of this project. The in-depth analysis shown in the bankable feasibility study and further corroboration with our prospective strategic partners and the EPC/Technology providers have only reconfirmed the extremely positive economics. These results show the cash cost of production for a metric tonne of urea is approximately $200 CAD/MT whereas the average farmer acquisition cost to farmers for a MT of Urea based on Green Markets over the last 10 years has averaged more than $550 CAD/MT. Based on these numbers the annual free cash flow is estimated at $250 million with an internal rate of return on the project of greater than 16%. The economics still make sense to keep pushing forward and our prospective strategic partners agree to continue on the path and take the necessary next steps after the first Genesis Supercenter is commercially operational.
2017-2020: The plan is solid, especially with the support of Canadian farmers, therefore, AgraCity has continued to promote the ProjectN to strategic partners and financial institutions.